My Biggest Mistake…Part II

Last week I set the stage to share my biggest mistake by writing about the first half of our recording odyssey.  If you missed it, you can read about it here.  Today, I’ll wrap this story and share what my big mistake taught me.

2006– My family is sent to France for work while Jeremy continues to recover in Minnesota.  For me, leaving the album unfinished is the hardest part about leaving for France.

2007– With Jeremy’s cancer in remission, we gingerly discuss resuming recording after I’m back in the States.  We are both fiercely committed to the project, but still gun shy.

2008– I have a baby in January, and Jeremy’s wife has one in June.  We hold off.

2009– We finish all the recording.  After years of laboriously slow going, Jeremy and I record “Ruth” together in a single take.  I savor it (but seriously regret not doing a live album).   Jeremy finishes the mixing and mastering, and I finish the design and packaging.   “Return to Sender” is a reality.  Our 2 families quietly celebrate together in late autumn.

After all we went through to get here, I want to shout about it from the rooftops!  But I don’t.  I’m newly pregnant and nearly incapacitated.  And while completing the album was a REALLY BIG DEAL for us, it (understandably) wasn’t for anybody else.   Most of our friends at the start of the process weren’t in our lives by the time we finished.   We had disappeared off their radar, in part because of the years we spent away.   Most of our new friends had no idea I sang,  let alone wrote songs.  Through all the years that we worked (or didn’t work) on the album, I imagined sharing this story in the liner notes of the disc jacket, but by the time we finished the album, nobody does that anymore.  So I often just sheepishly hand people a CD and mumble something about “We made this…it’s a long story…”

2012- I realized this wasn’t enough and released the album digitally in April.  I launch this blog largely because I think I’ll be talking about my music.  But Jeremy’s cancer is back, and he’s going through a bone marrow transplant.  Promoting my music seems distasteful at a time like this.  I write about my own brush with death instead.

Jeremy dies in June.  It feels like there’s no tasteful way to promote the album after that.  Everything feels petty.  I know that God still had plans for the music, but nothing had gone as I planned.

2013- Almost a year later, I realize my mistake.  Not promoting this music wasn’t gracious, or tasteful, or anything that I want to be.  It’s cowardice.  The fact is, God entrusted me with gifts to share.  Not sharing them is a huge disservice to the people they’re meant to bless.  It’s also a disservice to Jeremy, to myself, and to God.  From now on, I’m gonna shamelessly promote everything God’s given me, because that’s truth .  False humility is just false.

So there you have it.  I came clean about my mistake, and now I’d love to hear from you:  What big mistake did you make?  What did it teach you?  What gifts are you hiding?sing9





  1. Loralee Hutton

    Brave and vulnerable! love this post!

    My biggest mistake over the past few years has been not listening to intuition and instead listening to people I looked up to. Not that they were bad, wrong or mean — they weren’t wrong. I was. I was wrong for asking for approval, when I already knew what to do. I was wrong to sit by silently, thinking I needed to learn something new before I would be good enough, or ready to help more people. The moment I stepped out of my own way & allowed myself to make huge mistakes publicly, everything began to change. There’s still a lot to unravel. A lot of shame to release for having wasted so much time. But I try not do dwell on it, and serve the best way I know how. It turns out that helping people on a bigger scale is a delightfully easy way of distracting myself from thinking about the mistakes I made.

    • towardabundantlife

      I’m one of the people you’ve helped, so I personally am very thankful for the work you’ve done around letting go of perfection. You have really challenged me in this area. Thanks for your honest response to this post, and your spirit of service and humility.

  2. Adrianne Munkacsy (@AdrianneMunk)

    “False humility is just false.” This got my wheels turning. Sometimes, we hold back because of we’re afraid of how our actions will be perceived. Or we’re waiting for the “right time.” My biggest mistake is over-analyzing situations and waiting for answers or “signs” or a feeling that tells me what action to take and when. Sometimes, you just have to leap and trust.

    • towardabundantlife

      Adrienne, This is one of the main ways I limit myself, so I relate strongly to what you wrote. For me, cultivating vulnerability is one of the ways I access my most authentic self. Thanks for the work you’re doing to encourage vulnerability.

  3. Pastor Jeremiah

    I met Jeremy back in 2009 or 2010, he spoke at my campus for our spiritual enrichment days for students. What an amazing man. Jesus was glorified in his life. Share that music so Jesus will continue to be glorified and we can be blessed.

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